Published Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 | 5 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 | 7:58 p.m.
Note: Scroll to the bottom for full results from the preliminary card.
The UFC delivered a variety performance in its premiere on Fox Sports 1 — a six-hour amalgamation of first-round finishes, 15-minute battles, knockouts and submissions.
And upsets, too. Both the underdogs prevailed in the evening's headlining affairs at the TD Garden as Chael Sonnen submitted Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Travis Browne knocked out Alistair Overeem.
The fashions they came in were equally as surprising. Sonnen proved wrong a swarm of bettors' late money that pushed him from the favorite to the underdog -- wrong by submitting Rua, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, with 13 seconds remaining in the first round.
"I'm the man of the hour," Sonnen, ever the character, declared in the octagon afterwards, "too sweet to be sour."
After repeatedly taking Rua down, Sonnen got a hold of the former light heavyweight champion's neck and finished on a guillotine choke.
Perhaps Rua can find solace is knowing he didn't go out as brutally as co-main event heavyweight Alistair Overeem.
Travis Browne became the third fighter in UFC history to win via front-kick knockout, catching Overeem at 4:08 of the first round. Browne barely survived an early barrage by Overeem but found payback in the form of a heel to the chin.
Urijah Faber encountered early troubles of his own but came back to win a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26) over Iuri Alcantara in a bantamweight bout. Matt Brown had the fastest finish of the main card, knocking out Las Vegas local Mike Pyle 29 seconds into their welterweight clash.
“The beginning of the fight was pretty intense, and he was catching me with some really big punches," Faber said. "In my corner between rounds my jaw was hurting and it pissed me off. I must’ve made some sort of mistake or slipped and he ended up in a great position pretty quickly. Lots of respect for Iuri, he’s a tough guy and it was a great fight."
John Howard and Michael Johnson started the main card with unanimous decision victories, upsetting Uriah Hall and Joe Lauzon respectively.
Stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for full coverage of UFC Fight Night 26 later and check below for full results and round-by-round coverage of the main card.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Chael Sonnen
First Round Sonnen dumps Shogun on his back within five seconds of the fight getting under way. Rua gets back to his feet and actually takes Sonnen down. This is a surprise. Sonnen looks for a guillotine for a few seconds before Rua stands back up. They're locked up until Sonnen tosses Rua to the ground. Sonnen lands a few ground-and-pound strikes as Shogun tries desperately to escape. Sonnen keeps smothering Shogun, though, and letting heavy punches fly. He's all over the former light heavyweight champion, barely letting him breathe. Shogun does nothing for a while until Sonnen allows him to stand out. Sonnen locks in a guillotine, collapses down and cranks. Shogun taps out. Chael Sonnen submits Shogun Rua at 4:47 of the first round.
Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
First Round Overeem comes in and hits Browne with a combination early. The Dutchman is looking to clinch, as is often his wont early in fights. Browne fights his way out of after a few seconds but Overeem doesn't stop coming forward. Browne hits Overeem with a knee but gets too ambitious with a flying punch that Overeem ducks under. Overeem puts Browne on the ground and then brutalizes him with right hands. Overeem starts working his knees. Browne is covering up to minimize the damage, but he's in trouble. Browne lands some strikes of his own, but he's wobbly. Overeem still has him in the clinch. Overeem tries to trip Browne down, but the Hawaiian is not having it. "The Reem" gets some elbows to land. Browne backs out and breathes heavy. He kicks Overeem to the body and then the head. Overeem, who's showing no signs of fatigue unlike his opponent, clinches back up. Browne finds success with his kicks again once he gets his back out from against the cage. Overeem pushes Browne into the fence on the other side but doesn't have the power to stay there. Brown nails Overeem with a front kick and he goes down. The ensuing ground-and-pound will finish the job. Travis Browne knocks out Alistair Overeem at 4:08 of the first round.
Urijah Faber vs. Iuri Alcantara
Third Round Alcantara taunts Faber by inviting him to come forward. Not the best idea, based on the second round. Faber gets a combination, led by a right hook, to go. Alcantara answers with a left. Faber is moving well, feinting and bouncing around a lot on his feet. He checks an Alcantara kick after landing a few punches. Faber drives forward with a takedown, but Alcantara sprawls for safety. The second time goes differently as Faber drags Alcantara to the ground near the fence. "The California Kid" is in Alcantara's guard. He blasts the Brazilian with body shots. Faber re-arranges to stay heavy on top. He's showing expert-level grappling by doing every little thing right. Faber hand-fights Alcantara when it looks the Brazilian gets space to potentially work his way up. He wrests out of an armbar attempt and transitions to North-South position. Faber nearly gets Alcantara's back in the final 15 seconds but will have to settle for a hard-fought victory instead. The Sun scores the bout 30-28 in favor of Urijah Faber. Urijah Faber defeats Iuri Alcantara by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26).
Second Round Alcantara rocks Faber with a kick to get started. Faber stumbles back but suddenly swarms and gets a takedown. Faber has Alcantara pressed up against the cage on the west side of the TD Garden. "The California Kid" nearly lets Alcantara up in order to land a knee to the chest. Faber is able to keep smothering the Brazilian before he can get to his feet, though. Alcantara defends himself well, leaving Faber only slight openings every now and then. Faber is proficient at capitalizing, though. His elbows are starting to get to Alcantara's forehead. Faber stands up and keeps striking down on Alcantara. When Alcantara looks to get up, Faber pounces on a guillotine choke attempt. He's not in the right position, so Alcantara is safe. Well, relatively. Faber is smashing him with ground-and-pound. Alcantara gets to a knee, which helps him stand back up. Faber keeps the pressure on, however, by pushing him against the fence. Alcantara reverses before getting taken down by Faber again. Round ends like it was spent for more than four minutes — with Faber on top of Alcantara against the fence. The Sun awards Faber a 10-9 score to make it 20-19 overall.
First Round They touch gloves and Faber tags Alcantara with a right hand before getting taken down. Alcantara mounts Faber in a wild opening sequence of events. Alcantara tries for a kimura, but Faber sweeps out. Alcantara focuses on ground-and-pound instead until he can take Faber's back. Faber is covering up and in trouble. Alcantara won't relent, swinging hard at the side of Faber's head. Faber starts lofting punches behind his ear and is actually hitting Alcantara, even if they aren't counting for much. Halfway through the round and not much has changed. Alcantara will not give up his dominant position. Faber finally gets out and reverses by slamming Alcantara with 2:11 to go. Faber is now in Alcantara's half guard and looking to get into a better position. Alcantara dodges a big ground-and-pound strike. He can't do the same for the next two. Faber has completely turned the tables as now it looks like Alcantara can't take many more shots. Faber pounds Alcantara with elbows. Alcantara was in control for more of the fight, but it seems Faber is doing more with it. Bell rings and it's a nearly impossible round to score. The Sun will go 10-10 for a tie round.
Matt Brown vs. Mike Pyle
First Round Quick start for Brown, who's really coming in on Pyle. He catches him with a left hand and Pyle goes down. Brown follows up with ground-and-pound and the referee steps in. That's it. Matt Brown knocks out Mike Pyle at 0:29 of the first round.
Uriah Hall vs. John Howard
Third Round Slow pace for the first 30 seconds before Hall spin kicks. Howard easily gets out of the way. Hall blasts him with a flying knee but Howard's chin seems durable as he takes another. They trade leg kicks before Hall pushes forward and they start to dirty-box. With three minutes to go, the referee puts them back in the middle. It doesn't change much, as both fighters stay tentative. Hall gets another knee to go, but Howard takes him down. Hall gets to his knee and tries to walk up the wall, which is eventually a successful move. Howard retains dominant position, however, and knees Hall while wrapped around his back. Hall reverses and tries to use his wrestling. He gets a double-leg takedown to go, but Hall pops back up after approximately 15 seconds. Howard smiles and motions to the crowd, who seemed to be disinterested before the prompt. Cheers turn to boos and Hall fails on a somersault kick. Howard fires with a big ground-and-pound punch. But it's not enough. Uriah Hall wins 29-28 on the Sun's scorecard. Judges disagree, as John Howard defeats Uriah Hall by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29).
Second Round Hall kicks Howard to the body and circles out of trouble before any chance for a counter. Howard looks for leg kicks after struggling to get inside. Hall keeps his distance with kicks, mixing to the body and head. Howard rushes forward with a combination and stays up when Hall shoots for a takedown. Howard gets a hold of Hall's neck but can't mount any serious threat. Hall backs out towards the middle after taking a couple shots. Howard is the aggressor two minutes into this fight as he shoots and presses Hall against the fence. Howard can't get him down, though. Hall knees Howard, but takes about four shots to the gut in a row. The referee breaks them apart and Howard moves forward. Hall is too relaxed this round, until he drops to his knees and looks for an armbar. Howard is out without trouble but Hall swarms his back. The boos start and Howard gets out. He lands a few straight right hands before taking down Hall. In Hall's guard, Howard is pounding him with hammerfists. The second round goes to Howard, according to the Sun, to even the score at 19.
First Round Hall scores a double-leg takedown within seconds of the fight getting under way. He tries to pass but Howard is unwilling to let it to happen. The crowd starts to boo after a minute-and-a-half of Hall on top of Howard. Hall stands up and kicks the grounded Howard for about 10 seconds until the local fighter follows the former Ultimate Fighter runner-up to the feet. Howard eats jabs from Hall but ducks under a showy spin kick. The crowd gasps, but Hall continues to find openings with his jab. Howard gets a clean right hook to go on Hall's chin. Hall clinches up and reverses Howard against the fence. Hall wants another takedown, but Howard stays on his feet. The crowd boos and, again, it appears to get to Hall. He backs up, allowing Howard to land a few punches. Hall can't convert a takedown. Neither can Howard. Hall lands a couple more jabs and misses on a kick before the end of the round. Uriah Hall takes the first round 10-9 on the Sun's scorecard.
Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson
Third Round Johnson keeps up his success in the first minute, feeding Lauzon a steady diet of right hands He blasts Lauzon with an uppercut and follows it up with a knee to the body. Johnson is teeing off now. It's surprising Lauzon is still upright. He shoots for a takedown. It shields him from the punishment for a few moments, but Johnson barely moves. Lauzon is wobbled by another Johnson combination. This is getting lopsided. Lauzon has no answer to Johnson, who's landing any and every strike he's willing to throw. Lauzon nearly goes down to a Johnson left hand but catches himself on Johnson's shoulders. It might have been better for him to end it there. Lauzon doesn't need to take any more punishment. That's what he's getting, though. Lauzon finally does something with 20 seconds left — a knee to Johnson's body. It's not like Johnson is hurt though. Johnson finishes the fight punching and slamming Lauzon. The Sun scores the fight 30-26 in favor of Johnson. Michael Johnson beats Joe Lauzon by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25).
Second Round Lauzon looks to be moving fine, but he has a black eye. Johnson keeps the pressure up, but nearly gets himself into trouble when Lauzon shoots in after a combination. Johnson is off balance but stays on his feet by getting caught by the cage. Lauzon stays locked on his waist, but Johnson works his way out and circles back towards the middle. They engage in a sloppy exchange that Johnson gets the better of. Lauzon catches Johnson with a combination for his first big moment of the fight. Johnson moves backward but recovers with an uppercut that silences the awoken crowd. Lauzon weaves in and hits Johnson again. Johnson answers, but Lauzon lands a knee against the cage before they break out. Johnson locks up with Lauzon on the other side. He gets a punch and knee to go before the clinch is broken. Back to body shots for Johnson, which Lauzon would really like to avoid by now. Johnson ducks a Lauzon attack and takes him down at the 15-second remaining mark. Round ends with Lauzon on his back. The Sun sees the round 10-9 for Johnson to make the score 20-17.
First Round Johnson lands a left hand early under heavy boos and "Let's go Lauzon" chants from the home crowd. Johnson keeps his striking volume up with jabs and body shots, but most are missing. Lauzon circles and gets on the board with a jab. Johnson opens up with a leg kick. Lauzon covers up after Johnson scores with a body-body-head combination. Lauzon checks a high kick, but takes a couple more shots to the stomach. Lauzon gets a right hand to hand and later counters successfully. Lauzon gets Johnson retreating by coming forward with a bevy of punches. Johnson drops Lauzon with a right hand, but the hometown fighter recovers quickly. He pops back up but faces more shots from Johnson. Johnson knees Lauzon and kicks him across the body. Lauzon powers forward despite the adversity but he's in trouble with 1:30 to go. Lauzon's chest is red from where he's taken strikes. Right hook goes for Johnson and the "Let's go Lauzon" chants start again. He needs something. Johnson nails Lauzon with uppercuts and staggers him with a right hand. When Lauzon throws back, Johnson backs out. Johnson swarms Lauzon with a combination and drops him again. Lauzon goes to the ground, but Johnson won't follow and the crowd boos. Johnson drops Lauzon again at the end of the first round. Las Vegas Sun scores the first 10-8 in favor of Johnson.
The channels are re-branded. The executives are in the building. The plans are in motion.
The country’s next great television sports network — that’s the goal at least — has launched. Fox Sports 1 begins tonight, with Las Vegas’ largest sports franchise delivering the preamble.
The UFC returns to its “Fight Night” format tonight at the TD Garden under the Fox Sports 1 cameras and championships banners from the Celtics and Bruins.
Seven preliminary bouts are final with the six-fight main card up now. There’s something for everyone in the closing portion of the event, from featherweights to heavyweights and from projected slugfests to predicted grappling contests.
It might not get louder all evening than it will in a couple minutes, though, when hometown lightweight Joe Lauzon walks to the octagon for his showdown with Michael Johnson.
Lauzon, the all-time leader in post-fight bonuses, is expected to bring a memorable performance every time he fights. But he says he feels no extra pressure.
Neither do Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Chael Sonnen, who are bestowed with the honor of headlining the first Fox Sports 1 event.
They are two of the most popular veterans in the history of mixed martial arts — Shogun for his electric fighting style that delivered him UFC and PRIDE tournament championships in the past and Sonnen for his promotional wit.
It’s a near pick’em by Las Vegas standards — Sonnen is an ever-so-slight favorite — and has predictably divided opinions of fight fans.
The same could be said for the co-main event between heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne. Overeem is one of the most decorated big men in the history of the sport, but his last performance was a letdown as Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva scored the knockout as a 4-to-1 underdog.
Silva also upset Browne last year, however, which means he and Overeem find themselves in similar positions. One will enter the title picture after UFC Fight Night 26 while the loser will fall back in a major way.
Bantamweights Urijah Faber and Yuri Alcantara warm the arena for the two headlining events. Before that, rising welterweights Matt Brown and Mike Pyle square off in a pick’em matchup.
Boston native John Howard and top prospect Uriah Hall will also meet on the main card.
Stay tuned for live, octagon-side round-by-round coverage of the UFC Fight Night 26 main card and check all the preliminary results below.
An interim title-fight loss to Renan Barao didn't set Michael McDonald too far back. McDonald bounced back in Boston by smoking veteran Brad Pickett with a mixture of powerful striking and nifty submissions. McDonald forced Pickett to tap out with a triangle choke at 3:43 of the second round after dropping him with punches several times in the first round.
Whether Conor McGregor justified the hype that had posters of him printed up everywhere and Dana White comparing fans' interest level in him to Brock Lesnar is questionable. But the Irish featherweight did win dominantly in his second UFC fight. McGregor won every round on every judges' scorecard against Max Holloway.
Surging featherweight Steven Siler needed just 50 seconds to pull off a commanding upset against a former champion. Siler clipped Mike Brown with a right hand and then knocked him out with follow-up ground-and-pound early in the first round.
Diego Brandao and Daniel Pineda made their case for a Fight of the Night bonus with a featherweight bout that played out all over the cage and was full of knockdowns, submission attempts and sweeps out of danger. Brandao took the first round with his striking and the third round with his takedowns to win a unanimous decision (29-28. 29-28, 29-28) over Pineda.
The judges sided with Manvel Gamburyan in the first highly-competitive fight of the night to reach a decision. Gamburyan came back from getting knocked down with an elbow in the first round to beat Cole Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) in a featherweight bout.
Cody Donovan took Ovince St. Preux to the ground early in the first round of their light heavyweight but inadvertently wound up exactly where his opponent wanted him: on the bottom. St. Preux wasted little time in blasting Donovan with ground-and-pound, resulting in a TKO win at 2:07 of the first round.
James Vick submitted Ramsey Nijem with a guillotine choke 58 seconds into their lightweight bout. Vick, who hadn’t fought in a professional bout in nearly two years, clearly made the most of his time on “The Ultimate Fighter: Live.”